Create Stop Creating!
“Don’t create!” Where I come from it means stop making a fuss, stop arguing, even “calm down.” The time has arrived for me to “create stop creating.” I know a comma was missing there. Please excuse that as it was omitted for SEO reasons 🙂
I need to create and crack on with writing both of my works in progress. One a detective novel and the other the “faction” book about my grandfather’s Royal Navy career. Indeed the future is rosy because I have a collaboration in mind for a second fiction novel co-written with an author friend who has previously published a thriller novel.
So where does the “stop creating” come into play?
It’s mainly to do with the inevitable and immediate aftermath of post-publication of my book about my undercover experiences.
The reviews (mostly 5*) are rolling in steadily. Yet, there is a side issue emanating from the reviews. That issue is in part shown in my recent posts about the “war on drugs.” It is also shown in a “tit for tat” discussion between Smiles and me both here and in a Facebook forum that I was invited into. It’s a forum connected to the British LSD scene.
I am more than capable of holding my own in any spat with Smiles. It’s simply the case that I can’t be bothered. It’s all history and clearly the feelings I had about him, and written about in my book, are not reciprocated.
My life has come a long way since Operation Julie in 1976–1978. I am a different man in so many ways to the one I once was. I love writing and my new life in the Philippines. I started the writing late in life and have a lot to achieve in a short space of time. There is no time for distractions and bickering.
It appears Smiles’ main bone of contention is his claim that he was never fooled by our (Eric, my undercover partner, and me) cover. He knew we were cops from the off. That’s his story and one he is entitled to.
Readers who bother to buy my book will make up their own minds on that issue. If Smiles is correct then how does one answer these questions:
- Why did he frequently invite us into his home?
- Why was he a frequent (heavy) drinking “buddy?”
- Why did he talk to us about drug dealing?
- Why did he give me cannabis as a Christmas gift?
- Why did he produce cocaine for him, I and others to use?
- Why did we have many chillum smoking experiences together?
- Why did he leave Eric alone baby sitting in his home while we went out to party?
- Above all else, why did he ask me to supply kilo quantities of cocaine after he learned of the Liverpool episode described in the book?
Note I say “one” meaning the reader of my book. Smiles has had years of practicing his lines; no doubt starting back in his early days in prison after the bust. He must have faced the question so many times: “Didn’t you realize they were undercover cops?”
Now he picks trivial holes in his opening barrage of criticism. He points out, correctly, that there were no £50 notes in 1976–1977 so trying to prove that my account is inaccurate at best or a pack of lies at worst. It referred to an incident that I did not witness, but the story was rife that he has once lit a cigarette with a Bank of England note. Apparently, it was a £5 note. My mistake!
He also mentions an incident concerning the “steps” and maintains that I had the wrong pub. I don’t agree because I differentiate in the book between a pub called the Llew Coch and the Railway Steps.
What the hell does it matter? It doesn’t. I have moved on and will carry on moving. Smiles on the other hand will carry on telling his tale and justifying his status in a subterranean culture.
Life is too short and too sweet to be distracted. It was a part of my life that only now am I coming to terms with. Only as recently as Tuesday this week my stomach knotted in reaction to a question from a BBC interviewer.
“I know you wrote about it graphically in your book, but tell me what did it feel like when you were treated so badly by the police force?”
My stomach turned and knotted, thinking back to the actual feelings. Move on, Steve, move on!
No more debating with Smiles. No more debating about the “war on drugs.” It makes no difference what I think.
Now is the time to create and write, to improve upon my craft.
In the meantime I will sit back and enjoy the reviews from ordinary people who recognize a good book and a story worth telling.
Featured Image: Denise Krebs
This article first appeared at StephenBentley.info on September 23, 2016.